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Primary Teachers

Alessandro Sbraci


After earning his degree in Education Sciences at Università Pontificia Salesiana Alessandro joined the “Commission for the drafting of the charter of rights of children in residential institutions” set up by the Province-of-Rome administration.

He started teaching at the Waldorf-inspired Primary School Arcobaleno and subsequently took on the role of School Coordinator. After completing a course in “Functional Psychomotor Education” held by Professor Jean Le Boulch, Alessandro taught at the “Loic Francis For Therapeutic Pedagogy and Sociotherapy Society”.

As a firm believer in the educational value of art and hands-on learning, Alessandro has co-founded Maxima, a pedagogical society where children can engage in crafts and hands-on activities. He has taught at Istituto Sant’Ivo, a primary school in Rome.

His educational approach and daily classroom activities are inspired by the principle “each child’s world resets the History of the world”.

Alessandro has been teaching at St Philip School since 2014.

He currently serves as teacher coordinator for both preschool and primary school.

Barbara Valli


With teaching as a life-long passion and goal, Barbara obtained a master's degree in Primary Education Sciences and then completed a three-year course in Waldorf Education at Libera Scuola Janua in Rome.

In her professional and academic endeavours Barbara has striven to combine her two greatest passions: building authentic rapports with her pupils and theatre.

After earning a degree at Milan- based Civica Scuola Teatrale Paolo Grassi and specialising in promotion of culture and theatrical animator, in Bologna, she worked in the theatre writing shows for children and adults.

Barbara has worked as a teacher and as a conductor of theatre workshops in various public and private primary and childhood schools, in Rome and Milan, which has provided her with the chance to appreciate and experience firsthand that the educational relationship is a continuous exchange.

As Seneca said, human beings learn as they teach.

Barbara has been teaching at St Philip School since 2016.

Debora Oxenham


Bilingual, daughter of two teachers, of which Italian mother and Canadian father, teaching and foreign languages ​​were two elements that have always been present in her life.

She graduated in "Scienze della Formazione Primaria" at the University of Roma Tre with an experimental thesis on the uniqueness and diversity of each child in terms of their preferred learning styles and the quantity of spoken languages ​​(polyglot or monolingual).

Over the years she has accumulated various experiences with children teaching in the Wetherby House Montessori in England and in the bilingual school BeMe. In addition, she worked as a volunteer educator in a community coordinating, organizing and guiding activities for children of different ages. In this same area she created and realized puppet theater shows for children.

She enriches her educational background by attending various courses including the PSP (Pediatric First Aid) for the project "Health promotion and safety culture" issued by the Italian Federation of Pediatric Doctors (FIMP), the basic Truccabimbi and Piccoli Eventi course and the training course for "Technical Figures Theater - Puppets & Co." at the Fionda di Davide.

Guided by passion and strong linguistic skills, she obtains various language certifications: DELE (Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera), DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

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Hanieh Aghaie


Trilingual (Turkish, Persian, English), Hanieh, got her B.A in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Tabriz University and M.A in English Language and Literature from Sapienza University.

She is holding IELTS score 8.5 out of 9.00.

She has been teaching English to children, young adults, and adults for more than 13 years.

She has been living in Italy since 2019.

In Rome, she has the experience of teaching English at Lumsa University. She also had cooperation with Trinity School to prepare students for Trinity and Cambridge Exams. Hanieh has taken some training courses at Trinity School on teaching students who are diagnosed as dyslexic (having a language-based learning disability).

She has run several lessons with dyslexic students and prepared them for Trinity Exams.

Teaching is her lifelong passion. Enthusiastic and vivacious in her career, Hanieh has always tried to keep her teaching knowledge updated and apply the most recent teaching methodologies in her classrooms.

Hanieh has been teaching at St Philip School since 2022.

Mia Nabong


Mother tongue English speaker Mia has always had a passion for multiculturalism having been born in the Philippines, raised in Chicago (USA), and living many years in Naples and London (UK).  

She earned her bachelor's degree in education from Northwestern University and worked with children with psychological and behavioural conditions.

After working on a team of social workers who worked with adults with severe mental illness, she became the team's manager and earned her master's degree in social work from the University of Chicago.  She was a social worker in London and is currently registered in the Health Care Professionals Council (UK).

Her love for working with young children was born in Naples when she started teaching English in a preschool and a language school.  She has helped children and adults prepare for Cambridge and Trinity exams. 

She became a teacher in a bilingual school and along with the Italian teacher followed their students from the beginning to the end of their primary years. She loves teaching with songs, movement, and communication activities, paying special attention to the individual needs of every child.

She has lived in Rome since 2018 with her family and raises her own children in a bilingual environment.

Sofia Motti Barsini


Sofia has earned her M.A. in Primary Education Sciences (Roma Tre University) with an experimental thesis on the Outdoor education pedagogical movement; her work highlights the importance of didactic innovation heavily focused on hands-on activities and learning by doing.

Right after obtaining her M.A., Sofia started teaching in preschool and primary school settings. Sofia has kept honing her artistic and dramatic skills thanks to numerous training courses – Steiner pedagogy workshops included (at Accademia Aldo Bargero di Oriago and at St Philip School), to fully respond to her children’s needs.

She has worked as an educator with young children and adolescents: she has taken part into Le Cicogne project, helping set up a groundbreaking start-up company.

Sofia has served as a scout, too; she was a member of F.S.E. association for six years. At F.S.E., Sofia was appointed Chief Guide and had in charge girls aged 7-10 years old.

As well as serving as a scout leader, Sofia volunteers at U.N.I.T.A.L.S.I. – which provides support to children and adults with disabilities.

Sofia has been teaching at St Philip School since 2017.

Tonia Maggi


Spurred on by a life-long interest in Pedagogy, Tonia earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Education Sciences in quick succession, the latter with an experimental thesis on silence in class as a harmonising tool conducive to a self-awareness and respect for others.

In 2013 Tonia started teaching at private licensed schools, since then she has set up several psychomotor-skills workshops primarily focused on developing self-awareness in children as an essential foundation for all their learning activities.

Over the years, Tonia has specialised in “Outdoor Education” (i.e. experiential learning in the outdoors), as well as trained in the hundreds of different codes children develop to communicate in their daily experience, in activities to engage children’s interest and spark their inventiveness at Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi di Reggio Emilia.

Tonia's endeavours in recent years include:

È responsabile del laboratorio ritmico-musicale secondo il metodo “Gordon” con bambini con sindrome di Down presso l’associazione AIPD Roma (Associazione Italiana Persone Down).

Ottiene l’attestato PSP (Primo Soccorso Pediatrico) rilasciato dall’associazione Airte (Associazione Italiana rianimazione e traumatologia in emergenza), e del corso base in lettura creativa con il teatro Kamishibai.

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Giacoma Allotta


Giacoma is an experienced qualified primary teacher having taught both in England and Italy, at I. C. Pellico (VA), I.C. Ipsia Medi (PA) and Istituto Sacro Cuore (RM).

She is passionate about travelling and foreign languages, she has lived abroad and worked with Education-focused organisations to spread cultural opportunities for all children - the ones with disabilities, too. Following the experiences within those contexts, Giacoma has attended training courses to work as an expert for charity and not-for-profit marketing.

After earning her high school diploma she obtained her kindergarten and primary teaching certifications. Moreover, Giacoma earned her Bachelor's degree in Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies. She also taught English from other countries’ cultures perspectives.

Giacoma has been teaching at St Philip School since 2022.

Tiziana Della Spina


Tiziana is an English teacher, with dual Italian-US citizenship, certified by Cambridge University England (CELTA - Certificate in Teaching English to Adults and CELTYL - Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners).

Tiziana grew up in a multi-cultural family environment with passion for art, studying opera, ballet and acting.

As a child, she moved with her family to various locations abroad, where she developed a strong interest in foreign languages at a young age.

Tiziana moved to San Diego, California, where she studied and worked exclusively in English, for a decade. There, she attended the San Diego City College (SDCC).

Since 2010, Tiziana has been working in Rome teaching English as a foreign language to children, teenagers and adults in several schools such as Highlands Institute, Nazareth Institute, La Maisonnette.

Tiziana has been teaching at St Philip since 2017, originally as a kindergarten teacher, then later as a primary teacher.

Beata Zakrzewska


As a child Beata already possessed a natural gift for music and languages.

Upon graduating from high school in Rome (Istituto Magistrale G. Caetani, RM), she earned her primary teaching credentials.

In 2002 she went on to enrich her academic background at Libera Accademia Aldo Bargero (Oriago, VE).

In the same year, Beata began teaching at two private schools in Rome (Giardino dei Cedri and Salvatore Colonna), where she was subsequently appointed teacher coordinator. In addition to pursuing a career as a primary teacher, in 2010 she decided to put her qualifications as a professional nurse to good use and registered with IPASVI (Professional Order of Nurse).

Thereafter Beata has occasionally worked as a professional nurse.

In the same year she resolved to train in art therapy and attended several seminars and classes.

In 2013 she started her training at Il Fiore Azzurro (school of art therapy).

Beata has been teaching at St Philip School since 2014, originally as a kindergarten teacher, then moved on to primary.

She also holds training courses for both Italian and English primary teachers.

Sveva Remedia


Born in Rome, at the age of one she moved with her family to Manhattan, New York, where she grew up attending American schools. Once back she graduated with honors in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Perugia.

While studying at university she taught English to children and adults and worked as a post-school English teacher. After graduating, she practiced as a veterinary doctor in Italy and England for a few years.

Once she finally realized that her passion for teaching was stronger than the one for Veterinary medicine, she obtained her C2 certificate with grade A from Cambridge University. She also attended the Trinity College of London course T. E. F. L. (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Having obtained her TEFL and Teaching Young Learners Certificate, she has focused on teaching techniques and interaction with younger learners. She has been working as an English teacher in different preschools and primary schools in Rome.

Since 2019 she has been part of the St Philip team as a preschool and primary school teacher.

Rebecca Lyles


Born in Southern California to an English teacher, Rebecca grew up with a love for English and for teaching.

She decided to pursue this at Azusa Pacific University, where she analyzed children’s speech acquisition data from the CHILDES database in order to understand the processes children use to learn English.

She worked as the university’s English and Linguistics tutor and helped other university students continue this analysis of children’s speech anomalies. She graduated with her B.A. in English with a Teaching concentration in 2015.

Rebecca has over 6 years of experience teaching children, which includes teaching in kindergarten and primary school, as well as in a moderate-to-severe special needs classroom, serving as a mentor for primary school children aspiring to go to college, leading several music-and-choreography programs for children, and working as a tutor for multiple students (including English-as-a-Second-Language students) both privately and in public school classrooms.

She has been teaching at St Philip School since 2019 and currently serves as the school’s
Cambridge School Support Coordinator.

Elisa Rummolino


After earning an M.A. in Archeology and completing a postgraduate course in Cultural Heritage Management, Elisa started working in various capacities in several educational projects.

Elisa has managed educational workshops and tours where children are presented with informal opportunities to learn and grow as individuals through games and knowledge.

In 2012 Elisa played an active role in the PiCA Project “Knowledge in Hospitals”, bringing relief and learning to hospital patients through culture.

She then started her B.A. as primary teacher and began teaching in several primary schools and kindergartens, working with SEN children. Her childlike enthusiasm for “new adventures” is infectious as she is a firm believer – as Aristotle put it – that knowledge begins in wonder.

Elisa has been teaching at St Philip School (preschool first, then primary) since 2019.

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Robert Thomson


Born in a town of the Lake District in Northern England, Rob developed a passion for sports and teaching.

This passion grew into a life ambition when he left university with a degree in sports coaching and physical education.

Following this, he taught at schools as a physical education teacher and outside school as a football and badminton coach. Rob is trained and has experience in teaching students with physical and cognitive disabilities.

He worked for 3 years as a health trainer and coordinator with disabled students aged from 12 and above. Rob has been teaching and coaching in some form since 2011. After many years of working in this field he could not ignore his desire to experience life in another country. He arrived in Rome in March 2019 and soon found the opportunity to put his teaching skills to great use as a primary school English teacher.

Robert has been teaching at St Philip School since 2020.

Richard Coletta


Born in London, England, mother tongue English teacher, with extensive experience teaching English as a foreign language to children, teenagers and adults.

He obtained his TEFL certificate (teaching English as foreign language) in London and then began teaching English to students from various countries, cultures and backgrounds before continuing to teach foreign students at a private Language School on the South Coast of England.

Patient and goal-oriented he loves teaching and lives his job as a mission.

He has been living in Italy for three years where he kept teaching and preparing children for Cambridge exams.

Richard has been teaching at St Philip School since 2016.

Barbara Wajs


Mother tongue English teacher for Primary school but also an actor and dancer.

In her work she combines acting and movement with a variety of proven learning methods and she has been working in international schools and theatres in Europe and China. Through this fusion young learners quickly capture the new language.

We all grow up listening to stories, singing and playing games, pretending to be a pirate or princess, repeating the same words again and again. Through this fusion young learners capture quickly the new language. We all grow up listening to stories, singing and playing games, pretending to be a pirate or princess, repeating the same words again and again.

This is how Barbara developed her teaching method, using stories and movement which actively involves pupils in learning and which stimulates them.

She has been working in Rome for many years in different schools like the Waldorf School, Montessori, Marymount, Sacro Cuore and the British Council, being part of international cultural events.

Barbara has been teaching at St Philip School since 2014. St Philip come insegnante della scuola Primaria.

Forma e coordina tutti gli insegnanti della scuola dell’infanzia e primaria madrelingua inglese.

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Rebecca Walsh


Born in Ireland to an English language teacher and having spent part of her early childhood living in Florence Italy, Rebecca developed a love for education, travel and multiculturalism.

She pursued this passion for education and completed a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from University College Cork. After completing her Bachelors degree, Rebecca developed an interest in human behaviour and pursued this interest by completing a Postgraduate degree in Psychology from University College Cork.

During her studies, Rebecca gained dynamic professional experience, such as, providing support to children experiencing homelessness, supporting young people with intellectual disabilities and researching young people’s attitudes towards mental health.

She has also volunteered with mental health organisations where she taught emotional intelligence workshops to students in primary schools across Ireland.

After completion of her studies, Rebecca decided to foster her love for multiculturalism and returned to Italy. She has obtained her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate in Ireland.

Rebecca is passionate about the power of education and supporting students to reach their full potential.

Rebecca has been part of the St. Philip School community since April 2023.

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Alessia La Cava


Born in Rome, she moved to Malta at the age of 12 where she continued her studies at Verdala International School, earning both the American Honors Diploma and the International Baccalaureate bilingual diploma (I.B.) graduating top of her class.

Born in Rome, she moved to Malta at the age of 12 where she continued her studies at Verdala International School, earning both the American Honors Diploma and the International Baccalaureate bilingual diploma (I.B.) graduating top of her class. She moved to Italy and graduated from John Cabot University earning a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

She has always taught English to students from kindergarten to high school, as well as individual lessons for adults.

In 2006 she attended the training course for preschool music teachers at AIGAM (Italian Gordon Association for Music Learning) and was certified to teach music according to Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT). E. Gordon.

She taught in private schools in Rome, as an English language teacher.

In 2020 she started working at the New School in Rome.

She has been part of the staff at St. Philip School since February 2023.

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Claudia Comina


Claudia discovered her passion for rhythmic gymnastics and dance as a child. After earning an M.A. in Italian Literature, she resolved to make a profession out of her lifelong passions and endeavours, spurred on by her fascination for the interconnections among physical movement, development of the individual need to express oneself and wellbeing.

She has since specialised in art therapy and completed two MIUR postgraduate courses in Education Sciences: Art Therapy (at Teatro Integrato) and Rehabilitation Through The Arts classes (at IRCCS). Furthermore, Claudia has earned additional certificates and qualifications by attending seminars such as Neuro Psychomotricity as an educational intervention at CEU, Childplay Yoga, Segni mossi (about movement and graphics). Her numerous qualifications include: Insegnante di Anatomia per il movimento® (lit. Anatomy for the Movement) certified teacher with B.Calais-Germain method (Spain) and a Danzatricità (Dance and Psychomotricity) teacher. Moreover, Claudia is a qualified gymnastics instructor for ASI and ASC (affiliated to the Italian Olympic Games Committee). She is an educated dance wellness professional, too.

Since 2005, Claudia has worked as a kindergarten and primary school teacher. In 2009 she approached the world of circus and worked with several circus companies and organised aerial acrobatics, juggling and fire performance shows. Claudia has been involved with the Italian School of Circus Arts (Scuola Nazionale di Circo) and has worked as a circus arts teacher.

Here at St Philip School, she teaches psychomotor education and circus-arts inspired gymnastics, along with extra-curricular circus-skills classes in collaboration with ASD Play Your Time. Claudia’s educational goal is to educate pupils to love and appreciate movement through movement.

Claudia has been teaching at St Philip School since 2019.

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Zhenjie Jiang


Born in China, she has earned her Bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature at Mudanjiang University.

She has taught Chinese language and literature at Castelli International school, Globally Speaking, European Language club and Huawen - where she was teachers’ coordinator and still tutors pupils waiting to sit their Chinese IB exams.

During her career, Zhenjie has had the opportunity to teach pupils of different age ranges and has tutored pupils waiting to sit their HSK (Official test of Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers) exams. Here at St Philip’s, she is currently teaching Chinese to both primary and lower secondary school pupils.

Zhenjie has been teaching at St Philip School since 2022.

Letizia Montorfano


Letizia’s educational progress has led her abroad with the specific goal to focus on the study of the Chinese language and culture. While studying for her B.A. in Anthropology she harnessed the necessary foundational knowledge best to approach and understand China and its society.

Subsequently she completed her M.A. in Humanities at Venice-based Ca Foscari and a Chinese Teaching postgraduate course in Beijing, thereby bringing together theory and practice effectively to present and explain the nuances and subtleties peculiar to Chinese in relation to the culture in which they originate. Drawing on her national and international academic background and achievements, not least the 24CFU course for teaching credentials, Letizia has gained significant insight into the commonalities and differences between the Italian and Chinese school system, as well as the tools and skills best suited to teaching foreign languages.

Building on her experience as student first and then scholar, Letizia has developed an interactive and playful teaching method that makes learning a foreign language a natural and positive experience for her students. She has worked as a language teacher with students of all ages.

Letizia has been teaching at St Philip’s Primary and Secondary since 2021.

Amanda Malafarina


After earning her M.M. in Piano while studying under Maestro Sergio Cafaro, and graduating in Music Didactics under Maestra Eva Oddone, Amanda went on to broaden her musical expertise by attending postgraduate courses at Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, as well as others recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education.

She has also obtained the 24 CFUs for teaching and, over the years, she has never ceased studying at postgraduate level nor broadening her knowledge base by analysing and adopting numerous methodologies in music pedagogy.

In recent years, Amanda completed her training as a Steiner/Waldorf teacher in primary and secondary schools, with a thesis on the importance of the Imaginative Aspects in didactics,an academic endeavour featuring some of her compositions. She also completed apprenticeships at Scuola Paritaria Novalis based in Conegliano Veneto, and was invited to Waldorf schools in Milan and Zurich for apprenticeships of observation.

Amanda has also collaborated with the Rome-based Scuola Janua.

Amanda has passionately taught Piano since 1989, Introductory Pathways to Music since 1994, Music Education at nursery and primary schools based in Rome since 2001. In 1995 Amanda registered as a music education teacher in secondary schools. She is a member of the artistic committee for the Cafaro Prize award at the Rome-based Conservatorio Santa Cecilia.

Her numerous academic achievements include a graduation in Music Therapy from L.U.Me.N.A. and a subsequent internship at the ASL RM 3 maternity ward.

Furthermore, Amanda has gained expertise in the Gordon method and specialised in early childhood
music education.

She is the founder of the S.I.N.G. Cultural Society, whose aim is to spread music through instrument courses and concert lessons in schools. She has promoted and organised concerts in which children and young people can try their hand at various musical instruments, both as soloists and in chamber music ensembles and orchestras. She is a staunch advocate of children studying and playing ensemble music at an early age, as a means to nurturing their musical as well as personal and relational development.

She has dedicated her life to teaching music because she strongly believes in the beneficial power it has on people and because she loves working with children.

Since 2015, she has been a member of faculty at St Philip School as a music teacher, educator and school music coordinator.

Angelo Prinzo


AS a young musician, Angelo studied as cellist at Rowan University (U.S.A., NJ) and earned his M.M. at Rome-based Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia. Parallel to this, he completed a training course at "Fiore Azzurro"- a Waldorf inspired Art Therapy institute - and then went on further to enrich his academic background through postgraduate courses in Art Therapy at Università degli Studi Roma Tre as well as a B.A. in Modern Literature at Università di Salerno.

Furthermore, Angelo earned a professional expertise qualification as Arttherapist at Cepas s.r.l.

Angelo's numerous professional endeavours include:

  • technical supervisor and lecturer for ARTEDO (a network of Art Therapy Education Institutes) in several Italian cities;
  • music teacher, SEN teacher, educator and didactic coordinator for the special curative pedagogy class at Scuola Janua;
  • teacher at Instituto S. Ivo;
  • teacher in several primary and lower secondary state schools.

Angelo joined the Saint Philip faculty in 2014 and has since served as music teacher, educator and music department coordinator.

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Gaetano Martino

Physical education teacher

Having always been interested in the world of sports, Gaetano specializes in teaching physical education, psychomotor skills, and activities in the water.

Gaetano has enriched his skills by taking various courses in kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement. He has also trained as a psychomotor therapist.

For the last 20 years, he has been a teacher and a manager at Le Magnolie Sports Centre’s swimming school. For the last 5 years, he has been a teacher in primary and lower secondary schools.

Gaetano has been teaching at St. Philip School since 2022.

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